(Adds context, breakdown of growth by sector, second quarter growth and June versus May expansion)
LIMA, Aug 15 (Reuters) - Peru’s economy expanded 3.64 percent in June from the same month a year earlier on a surge in anchovy fishing and the first expansion in construction in 10 months, state statistics agency Inei said Tuesday.
It was the strongest reading in the agency’s monthly economic activity indicator since January, and it came in slightly higher than the 3.5 percent median forecast in a Reuters poll.
Peru’s economic growth slowed sharply early this year following severe flooding and a graft scandal that stalled public work projects.
But construction activity expanded 3.49 percent in June year-on-on-year on the back of flood relief work, Inei said.
June’s growth was also driven by a 52 percent surge in fishing activity, mainly due to the anchovy catch, Inei said.
Peru is one of the world’s biggest producers of fishmeal, a protein-rich animal feed made from anchovy in factories along the country’s Pacific coast.
Mining activity grew 6.86 percent compared with a year earlier.
The mining sector accounts for about 15 percent of Peru’s gross domestic product, and minerals make up some 60 percent of export earnings.
The central bank has said that growth is at a turning point, and the economy should expand by about 2.8 percent this year.
In the second quarter, GDP grew by 2.45 percent year-on-year, faster than the 2.1 percent pace registered in the first quarter, Inei said.
Last year Peru’s GDP expanded 3.9 percent.
The unemployment rate was 7.1 percent in the May through July period, slightly higher than in previous months but unchanged compared to the same period a year earlier, Inei said.
Peru’s economic activity expanded by a seasonally adjusted 0.9 percent in June from May, Inei added.
Reporting By Teresa Cespedes, Writing By Mitra Taj; Editing by W Simon